Camp Good News

Camp Good News in Forestdale

Camp Good News has contracted with a Canadian energy company to build a solar array on some of its 200-plus acres off Route 130 in Forestdale.

But first, the Massachusetts Historical Commission is interested in conducting an archaeological survey of the parcel, according to a letter sent to the Sandwich Historical Commission earlier this month.

Few details about the solar project or the archaeological survey were made available this week.

State historical commission staff declined to discuss the survey and referred all calls to the Secretary of State’s office. A spokeswoman there said no details can be released because such surveys are confidential and not open to the public.

Jane Brooks, the camp’s director, said on Thursday, February 20 that someone from the energy company would furnish more details about the planned solar project.

Grace Russell, of Grasshopper Energy, said in an email Thursday, February 20, that if the Enterprise would submit a list of questions, the company would “reply in due course.”

Grasshopper Energy, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, “operates as a green energy services company... [that] connects homeowners, businesses, institutions, and industrial facilities to money in grants, rebates, and other incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, as well as provides turnkey solar power systems for both rooftops and land,” according to a Bloomberg industry website.

Grasshopper is the second large Canadian energy company to express interest building a solar farm in Sandwich in the last few months. Amp Energy, also of Mississauga, Ontario—but listed at a different address than Grasshopper—has proposed an 18-acre solar array off Cotuit Road.

Camp Good News was founded in 1935 by former Naval Chaplain W. Wyeth and his wife, Grace Willard, according to the camp’s website.

“Though the camp was founded and is led by a Christian staff, campers come from a wide variety of religious, socio-economic, and non-religious backgrounds. The Christian faith, as expressed in the Apostles Creed, is presented in an open, interdenominational setting,” the website says. “Camp Good News endeavors to help young people discover the relevance of the Bible in our culture and assist them in exploring the awesome meaning and direction for living.”

The camp occupies 214 acres of woods and 1⁄2 mile of shoreline along Snake Pond, according to a history published in the Enterprise.

The members of the Sandwich Historical Commission said they would be interested in walking the survey site before an archaeological dig takes place.

“The project area is archaeologically sensitive for ancient and historical period Native American archaeological resources,” the state historical commission said in its letter to the Sandwich historical commission. “The archaeological sensitivity is in part based on the ancient and historical period land use and occupational history of Wampanoag people in this region, as well as the results of previous investigations nearby in environmental settings similar to the project area that identified important cultural resources.”

The letter goes on to say that the state historical commission “recommends that an intensive (locational) archaeological survey... be conducted for the project.”

The Cape Cod Commission must also weigh in on the project, according to the letter.

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